Gift Ideas

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Expectant Mums

Choosing a Christmas present for someone can be tough, but it can be even harder when choosing a special gift for a pregnant lady. You want to choose something practical, and clothes may not be a great choice (“What size shall I go for?!”).

I am now 25 weeks pregnant, and with Christmas coming up I know a few people who will be panicking about this sort of stuff,  with me in mind. If you’re reading this guys – I know it’s hard, but please…if you could just get me a bath filled with chocolate I would really appreciate it.

For those of you who can’t arrange delivery of a chocolate-filled-bath-tub for their pregnant loved one, here are a few other suggestions:

Milton Soother Steriliser and Solo Steriliser – To Keep Her Mind At Rest

milton soother steriliser

Every new mum worries about hygiene and their baby. We are all aware that baby’s bottles, dummies and everything else that goes into their mouth (including house keys, mobiles phones, etc.) will need to be sterilised. It is recommended now that you sterilise your babies things until they are 12 months old, as their immune systems are no where near as strong as ours. The Milton Soother Steriliser is such a clever little idea that seems an absolute necessity now that I have one – I couldn’t actually do without.

milton soother steriliser unboxing

Hang it from your pram after adding Milton sterilising tablets, put a dummy into the sponge, twist and leave the steriliser to do it’s thing. Then, after just 15 minutes, and with no need to rinse, you’re ready to go. I like to keep a dummy in there prepped and ready, should my little one drop hers. Then I can just swap them over.

The solution soaked sponge can be kept in use for 24 hours before you rinse it out and refill ready for the next day! So, no more crying baby because her dummy was dropped on the high street! The steriliser is available in cute Blue, Purple and Green, and is so easy to use that even the most sleep deprived mum, stumbling through town can get the hang of it.
The Milton Soother Steriliser is available on the high street, at around £6.99 from shops such as Tesco, John Lewis and Superdrug.

Solo Steriliser

milton solo steriliser unboxing
Milton also make a handy travel steriliser. This 2 in 1 steriliser can be used in the microwave or used as a cold water steriliser. It’s designed to hold just one bottle so is best suited for when you’re out and about, however, I did find though that we could fit a lot more into the steriliser at once, Holding a bottle, dummy and teether toy.

Again, like the soother steriliser the Solo is such a simple product to use!
If your preferred method of sterilisation is using the microwave, just fill with 60 ml of water put your equipment in as directed and stick in the microwave for just 2 minutes (depending on microwave strength) and if you don’t have much room in the microwave it still works if you lay your Solo on its side!
milton solo steriliser microwave

If you will be using the cold water method (the old fashioned way as my nan calls it!) simply fill to the indication line, use a Milton tablet or fluid as directed and leave for 15 minutes!
Compared to our old clumpy electric steriliser, the new Milton Solo Steriliser is an absolute dream! Its so quick to use, very easy and nothing fiddly to work out! I also think that as a breastfeeding mum, I don’t use many bottles at all and only use them on a rare occasion when I do, this Solo is perfect for us as we wont be doing any ‘heavy duty’ sterilising, saving us space in the kitchen!

The Solo steriliser is available in many online retailers such as Amazon and , such as and Ocardo.

Beloved Brownies – To Nibble On

beloved brownies open

Every pregnant woman deserves a scrummy treat to say ‘Well done for growing another whole human! You’re doing great! Only another 20 weeks to go’ and so the perfect parcel of the most delicious chocolate brownies says just that! But in a nicer way…

Beloved Brownies are a beautiful, independent business run by mum of 3, Lisa Course. I’m lucky that they’re based locally to me, and you’re all lucky that they deliver anywhere in the UK. The brownies are made with the finest ingredients, as well as free range eggs supplied from a local farm. They arrive in the sweetest packaging, an organic box, pretty tissue paper, and finished with a ribbon. You can even let Lisa know if you want a special message added to the handmade gift tag enclosed with every box you order.

beloved brownies

You can choose from Original, Banana, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Orange, Coconut, Pecan, Chocolate & Raspberry, Rocky Road or White Chocolate. But which one to choose? Impossible if you ask me!

I decided to give the Chocolate Orange brownies a try, and WOW what an incredible sensation (Lisa knows how I described eating them for the first time – he he) but there was just one problem … they did not last long! I don’t mean the amount of time that they keep fresh, as that comes in at about 5 days, but the fact I consumed them over 2 nights … I was impressed that they lasted even that long!

Over all, a wonderful, sweet gift that any lady would love, be her an expectant lady, or a new mum … or if you’re feeling super kind, the new dad might even appreciate some!

Lisa’s Beloved Brownies, can be purchased directly from her website here.

AVENT DECT Baby Monior – So she can hear everything

aventdect

I believe that a good baby monitor will be one of the most important buys for any new family, that will last them for years to come and keep their minds at rest, ultimately keeping the whole family happy- and safe.

The fab team at AVENT have delivered a simple but very high tech and effective baby monitor. The DECT monitor with temperature and humidity sensor has a very simple system that is super easy to use, looks stylish and does exactly what you want it to!

Just plug in and go… that’s it! The receiver has a charging battery that you can carry around with you as you move about the house or garden, it can play lullabies straight to baby’s room, the compact and easy to read monitor tells you the nursery temperature and humidity levels and continues to work even if there is a power failure. The monitor controls the night light on the baby’s room device and you can even choose to talk back into the monitor for baby to hear, is very lightweight and has a roaming range of 330 metres! If you know my family you may know that we do care for the environment and using as little energy as possible, the AVENT baby monitor has a fantastic energy saving ECO mode.

aventdecbox

I found that the monitor has crystal clear sounds due to its zero interference and private connection, meaning that it picked up even the smallest of noise from my girls room and so very easy to set up and use. The talk back feature was very useful if Willow woke up calling for a wee, and I could tell her that I was on my way so that she didn’t panic. We even used it to contact Santa when Willow wouldn’t sleep, Who knew that Santa could be contacted Via Baby Monitor?! The monitor even came with a handy travel bag for when staying over grandparents house, so that it didn’t end up scratched and damaged in transit. A very basic (in todays terms) baby monitor, that delivers exactly what you need. It made us feel secure and safe in our new house where we can no longer just hear them if they wake up.

avent base dect avent monitor

The AVENT DECT baby monitor can be found here, on Amazon for £81.31.

Dodo-Pad – To Keep Her Organised!

dodo pad 2015

As a new mum trying to juggle every day tasks, a common condition known as “baby brain” can often make life seem 1000x harder. Doctors appointments. Weighing clinics. Mums clubs. That promised slice of cake and a cuppa with her best friend. All your appointments and engagements are tucked away at the back of her brain and far too easily forgotten when baby starts crying for milk. Its not her fault, remembering to take a shower each morning is tricky enough.

The Dodo-Pad is the all-round life-organiser. Actually it is a ‘combined diary-doodle-memo-message-engagement-organiser-calendar-book’. Their words. Not mine.

Even from the cover of this pad (to say it in brief) you can tell that this is no ordinary diary/pad/you get the idea. Its actually hilarious. Containing funny drawings, (not so useless) common knowledge facts, lots of spaces for note taking and even instructed places to doodle, oh and a handy pocket to keep important stuff… like receipts for all those baby bits she needs to buy soon!

Each day of the year is laid out clearly, with 5 spaces for different engagements for each day. These spaces can be used for the expectant mum to write info for her, baby, dad, cat, goldfish… whoever… or actually to divide the day up into time slots… its completely up to her how she organises the diary. I find the concept such a great Idea!

dodo pad 2015 layout

The 2015 Dodo pad is just £12.99 and available from their online shop.

As an extra little something to help her keep really organised (as if the Dodo pad isn’t enough!) Why not add the mini size Dodo Blank Book.
At just 136mm x 139mm it is the perfect companion for the changing bag, to make quick shopping lists, scribble down phone numbers and even (as I learned myself) to give to her toddler while she feeds the baby… what fantastic art my 2 year old made for me!

dodo pad blank book

The Dodo Pad Mini Blank Book can also be found on their online shop for £4.50. A wonderful little stocking filler!

Teatulia Tea – To keep her calm

teatulia

Its lovely to sit back, put your feet (and swollen ankle’s – sorry ladies) up and kick back with a nice book and a cuppa. Especially when you are carrying around all of that extra weight and scrubbing everything insight because you are nesting… you deserve a break mamma!

Teatulia organic teas are grown in a single USDA-certified organic garden in northern Bangladesh, and at nearly 2,000 acres, the Teatulia tea garden is one of the largest organic tea gardens in the world! Like a fine estate wine, Teatulia’s single garden organic teas ensure a purity, accountability and freshness that derive from perfect growing conditions: the soil is developed with the use of organic cover crops and mulching and the growing area is irrigated by rainwater. In short, Teatulia sell some of the best tasting tea in the world. And sitting down with a cup of Teatuila, in my finest china feels just perfect.

teatulia black tea

There are five refreshing flavours to choose from: Lemongrass, Tulsi, Earl of Bengal, Green Tea and Black Tea. Simply tumble boiling water over your tea, steep for three to four minutes and let the aroma transport you to the Teatulia gardens. Or for an invigorating summer treat, let cool and splash over ice.

teatulia flavours

Teatulia teas retail at £3.40 for 20 individually wrapped sachets and are available from Holland & Barrett, Harrods, independent health and wholefood stores nationwide. For further information visit www.teatulia.co.uk

 Monsoon For Oxfam Wash Bag – To pack in her hospital bag

Oxfam-Monsoon-wash-bag

This beautiful little textile wash bag is created by the Self Employed Womens Association – artisan producers from India, for the newest collaboration for Oxfam by Monsoon to once again bring us a fab range that is affordable and high quality. The collaboration first launched in 2011 to help create livelihoods for disadvantaged communities and raising money to help Oxfam fight poverty around the world.

This practical little gift, can be stocked with lovely little treats and popped into her sticking ready for her hospital bag to use on the ward. Because, as much as us new mums hate to admit it … we still plan on taking our mascara! There will be photos taken remember!

The cute Oxfam washbag, is available for £6.99 and can be found here.

Echo Falls Tisane Alcohol Free Sparkling Infusion – To fill her glass at Xmas Dinner

We all love a nice glass of bubbly on Christmas day, whether that is champagne or something a little less ‘giddy’!

Personally, I haven’t had an alcoholic drink for a while, even before this pregnancy! But I do like to have a glass of something a little special at parties or get-togethers. I often choose for something simple such as an Orange and Lemonade…. not so classy! But, All of my dreams came true (OK, dreams that could be found fizzing in a glass) when I discovered the new Tisane Alcohol Free Sparkling Infusion from the lovely folk at Echo Falls.

echo falls alcohol free tisane sparkling infusion

The drink is made from 95% fermented grape juice and 5% infused tea. And it looks totally stunning served in a champagne glass or my best crystal. At just 26 Calories per glass, it is so much more friendly on my (ever expanding) waistline.

The bottle looks very impressive, being served from the contemporary straight sided Champagne bottle and being perfectly finished with stunning labels. But once poured into the glass, the drink itself pulls out at all of the stops. It is surprisingly bubbly and refreshing and the slightest hint of tea sits perfectly on my tongue, whilst not being overpowering in the slightest.

alcohol free echo falls

This alcohol free sparkling wine is perfect in colour, taste, sweetness and overall look. A personal recommendation for the dinner table on Christmas day… Or even to place on the table for the office party. A sweet treat that any expectant mum would love. I would be very happy to find a bottle tucked at the bottom of my Christmas stocking, ready to chill for later!

Echo Falls Tisane Alcohol Free Sparkling Infusion can be found in the Wine section of Tescos Online for £23.49 per case (around £3.99 per bottle).

Moon Times Cloth Pads – For feeling amazing after baby has been born

After the baby is born, and nature returns in the form of Aunt Flo, its only fair that the new mum to be feels as comfortable and as special as can be!

organic cloth sanitary pads

Rachel Hertogs brings us her beautiful and very pretty range of organic cloth pads, a modern alternative to disposable sanitary pads. Her cloth pads are made from organic cotton and are available in an amazing range of sizes, patterns, styles and inserts to suit all flows. A perfect gift for any planet savvy mum! It has been noted that through the regular use of using cloth pads, women who are used to experiencing heavy or even painful periods have said how their flows have become lighter and much more manageable! Most certainly something to consider if your friend has turned to you for comfort (and a huge bar of chocolate) during her monthly.

The organic starter set contains a panty liner, 2 ‘pocket’ pads, and a selection of 6 inserts; 2 organic cotton, 2 hemp and 2 toweling and a tub which can be used to soak your pads after use, until washing.

The organic pad set, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Moon Times have to offer, and the very useful website has lots of info. The Organic Pad set is just £30 and a great introduction to the world of reusable. Also, if you have any questions that are not answered on the site, just drop Rachel a message and she will get back to you. She is a wealth of knowledge and truly knows her stuff.

Rachels book Menarche, A Journey Into Womanhood, is a mums’ and girls’ guide to celebrating her first period. It is also available from her online store, and is most certainly worth a read.

Don’t forget to use the code MT10%OFF at the checkout too!

Comfort, Settle & Sleep – A book to help her feel prepared

comfort settle and sleep samantha quinn

Knowledge is power, right? Something like that! I remember expecting my first baby and not having a clue what to expect! I knew that I wanted to keep things as natural as possible, keep every one calm and pretend that I wasn’t shaking in my boots with anxiety and confusion! Haha!

I liked to pick up books and read bits here and there but I often found these books too heavy to digest, too wordy and most definitely too blinking long… if I was to read one from front to back, it wouldn’t be baby advice that I was after, but teenager advice by the time I had finished it!

Mother of three and holistic therapist Samantha Quinn brings us Comfort, Settle & Sleep – a wonderful pick-up-and-refer book, revealing natural calming techniques to ensure that the sweet new bundle of joy makes a smooth transition from the womb to the cradle through the power of baby massage, reflexology and aromatherapy.

The little 128 page book delivers new mums with effective and practical ideas for head-scratching situations such as reading baby’s types of cry, sound and behavior, Physical and emotional benefits of baby massage, recommended complimentary therapies and natural remedies and solutions for colic, fever, cradle cap. reflux, teething and even Post natal depression… that’s just a few! Oh and dealing with sleep deprivation.

With beautiful photographs and clear step by step images to compliment baby massage Samantha’s book is visually educating also. I loved the idea of having a book that I can quickly refer too, that reflects my want for a more holistic and natural approach to my body, baby and the tender time during  the postnatal period, including wonderful advice on breastfeeding hiccups and even stretch marks! The book also boasts a wonderful resources section at the back of the book with some of the most useful contact information for websites and organisations that any new family may need. To be honest, I was ‘sold’ with the cute co-sleeping picture on the cover!

CSS pics

A wonderful book, that any new mum (or dad!) would really treasure for years to come, well actually, a lifetime of invaluable knowledge!

The book Comfort, Settle & Sleep by Samantha Quinn is available on the authors website Mumma Love Organics for just £9.99

If you want any further information on the items featured here, please feel free to leave a comment below.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!

olive

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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